It's no secret that the mainstream music industry is a difficult place to succeed.
University students Danny and Joey Fiorentini should know. Since 2001 the brothers have struggled to have their music heard. Going by the stage-names Effect and Joe Fury, the two have put out a combined five albums and over 100 songs to little success. It wasn't until last December when things began to look up for the hip-hoppers.
When MTVU announced its annual "Best Music on Campus" contest last winter, the Fiorentini's teamed-up. Danny, the eldest of the duo at 22, said they were ready to make a move in the industry.
"When we decided to enter the contest, we wanted to go at it with something completely new," he said. "We wanted to enter with a fresh approach."
The duo created the hip-hop group, Canto I (pronounced "Canto-eye"). The collaboration turned out to be a good idea. The group was selected as a top-five finalist in the contest by a slue of voters on the Best Music website. Winning the contest, which entailed a $35,000 contract and six-song EP deal with Definitive Jux Records, became feasible.
Joey, 20, said being selected into the top-five convinced Canto I that they weren't wasting their time.
"Danny and I love making music. Not being successful obviously doesn't hold us back," he said. "But getting as far as we did with Best Music on Campus showed us our potential. For us, it proved that music might be more than a hobby."
At the contest's end, rapper Danny Swain from the Savannah College of Art and Design took the winnings. "As he deserved," Joey remarked. "Beating him wouldn't have been right. He's put in twice the time Joey and I have. I think experience is an important thing. Without it, people don't appreciate their success and it ends up meaning nothing."
Happy for Swain, Canto I wasn't deterred by the loss. On March 31, the modest duo was notified that they were selected to play on MTVU's "Campus Invasion Tour."
MTV plans to fly the group to Atlanta, Georgia to open for Def Jam recording artists Fabolous and Rick Ross on April 27. And in almost perfect alignment with the release of their first album, "Entry Level/Elements," Canto I's title track has been given on slot on MTVU's "Campus Invasion 2007" compilation disc.
With an incurable smile, Danny had difficulty describing how thrilled he was about the news. "I can't put into words how excited we are," he said. "This is ridiculous."
Canto I's Atlanta concert will be the fourth time they've ever played live. They plan to play live for the third time at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 4 in the Manzanita Bowl where Entry Level/Elements will be available for $5.